Christchurch businesses call on Government to address crime in the city

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Nov 30, 2022 |

Christchurch businesses are calling on the Government to do more to stop crime.

80 businesses have signed a joint letter, co-ordinated by the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce, requesting an urgent response from the Government.

Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce, Leeann Watson said “we are growing increasingly concerned at the incidences of crime and antisocial behaviour impacting businesses and residents throughout Christchurch and the Canterbury region.”

In September Superintendent Lane Todd said crime was committed by a small cohort of people and overall crime in the city was down.

He said at the time there were plans in place including more city foot patrols.

“We’re not obviously going back to the same extent that we had with the police square kiosk, but as you’d appreciate, we’ve got a central city station located in the central city now anyway, so it’s quite easy for us to attend jobs coming out of here.”

Leeann Watson said 80 businesses who have signed the joint letter to the Government, can no longer sit by idly when businesses and residents are being menaced by a continual stream of smash and grabs leaving staff in a constant state of fear, antisocial behaviour spreading throughout the city centre, and opportunistic and brutal assaults leading to serious harm and sadly, recently, multiple loss of lives.”

Watson said “the Government’s response to this very serious and complex situation has been insufficient.

While there has been a recent announcement to provide some support for businesses in Auckland, Hamilton, and Bay of Plenty, it does not address the core issue here in Canterbury, and there seems to be a lack of concern for noncriminal but antisocial behaviour that may ultimately lead to criminal activity down the track.”

Watson said “we recognise that there are a number of complex factors that contribute to the causes of criminal activity, and that ongoing challenges such as the truancy crisis, increased cost of living and the lingering effects of the disruption caused by the COVID-19 lockdowns are facilitating an environment where these actions are occurring at an increased rate.

“However, the focus on being kind and continually expressing that the issue is complex is no longer enough. We need to see action.

Government must ensure there are sufficient resources and changes to ensure those in roles of authority can act and that there are immediate consequences for those who commit these hideous crimes.

We would also like to see a review of the thresholds being applied to what is considered non-criminal activity that at this point, carries little if any consequences but does have a significant impact on the safety and security of both the business community, residents and visitors to our region.”

Disclosure: Chris Lynch Media Limited has signed the letter

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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